5 Questions with Muys Snijders of Private Client Select Insurance Services

Oct 20, 2023

You don’t need to sit down for a chat with Muys Snijders for long to determine that she is a seasoned executive and visionary leader. With over 25 years of international experience working in the art world, she has plenty of stories to share, between owning a successful art consultancy firm, and working in executive positions at Christie’s and Bonhams. Now, on a daily basis at Private Client Select Insurance Services, she provides collections related loss prevention and collection care services to policyholders, ensures that high-value claims are handled seamlessly, and implements disaster mitigation and response initiatives. But we did sit down for a chat with her, as we wanted to see what else we could find out about Muys…

Having worked in the art world for over 25 years, you’ve worn many relevant hats. Now, you oversee all aspects of risk management for Private Client Select Insurance Services’ portfolio of art and collectibles. So, what is the particular challenge of art insurance?

Depending on the type of art one collects, works may be subject to market fluctuations. Keeping a pulse on the market for the artists you collect is critical to ensure your art collection is insured to value. Thankfully, many dedicated art insurance policies are written on an agreed-value basis, which often includes a percentage increase that accounts for market fluctuation. This does give some coverage during the policy term. However, rapid market shifts could create a situation in which this percentage may no longer be sufficient to cover the full value in the event of a loss. At Private Client Select Insurance Services, we assist our clients and brokers by conducting regular schedule reviews and monitoring market changes. This will inform when works may need to be reappraised.

Indeed, considering the art market is extremely volatile and can be impulsive, I can see how that would be a challenge for emerging collectors and seasoned vets alike. In fact, we have often heard the question, “when is a good time to purchase art insurance?” So, what is the general profile of a collector who has their art collection insured?

Art collecting has diversified over the years, broadening the appetite of the collector class. Some are new to the market, drawn to artists and the art world through social media. Others are lifelong collectors and art connoisseurs looking to diversify or build their collections. We also see collectors who simply want to decorate their space, or who look at art as a way to support artists and communities. Some are just utilizing art as an investment opportunity. Regardless of the profile of the collector, we always look to solve our clients queries and art related collections needs. Our decades of industry knowledge and expertise combined with our direct access to top market experts allow us to advise clients on all aspects of the management of their collection. From appraiser, conservator, collection database or sale referrals to packing and shipping arrangements, we work tirelessly to help collectors identify the precise experts needed for the best possible outcomes.

Sounds like every client is different, which keeps things fresh and exciting for you, I’m sure. Tell us about your most recent career highlight?

I believe in being an integral part of the community I serve, sharing market expertise, learning and supporting others. Earlier this year, I participated in the annual fundraising event Come as You Are at Pen + Brush gallery supporting artists who are creating impactful work that is so engrained in a larger cultural dialogue. The event brought together its community and included a live painting performance by Michela Martello in dialogue with B&B Italia’s iconic Up Chair and raised much needed funds for the continued work of this 129-year-old not-for-profit looking to establish gender equity in the arts.

I love that! So relevant, as we all know how staggering the breadth of the gender gap in the art world is! However, despite the bias against female artists, there certainly seems to be a growing interest in acquiring art by women, and the prices of works by female artists are starting to reflect this trend. Which others current art world “trends” are you following?

Over the years, we have witnessed ever increasing advancements in technology. Traditionally the art market has been rather slow to adopt and adapt to implementing those transformations, however since the pandemic when the art market was forced to adjust, things have changed. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming part of our daily lives and is creating a revolution in the insurance industry, I am looking at how machine learning can support the work that we do in insuring art collections and what we can learn from our data, and make decisions and predictions based on that learning.

Oh, sounds like we need to circle back to that when you have all of your findings together! In the meantime, you've recently contributed to the ArtCollect online program! Can you provide a quick synopsis of what participants can expect to learn in your module that you lead alongside Kyle McGrath?

In our module we will help you understand what it takes to maintain and protect an art collection. We will discuss what to look out for prior to purchasing art such as researching the artist, establishing the condition of the item, understanding the provenance and evaluating what the artwork might be worth today. Subsequently we will discuss in detail how to maintain your collection including how to move and store the art works and keeping up to date records. We will also explain more about the key differences between insurance policies and what risks you may have to manage whilst being the custodian of an artwork or art collection.

Learn more from Muys by participating in ArtCollect. In Module 2, she will help you understand the key considerations for properly maintaining and protecting your private collection. By following Muys’ guidelines, you can properly manage the risks associated with art collecting and protect your collection for years to come.

Private Client Select Insurance Services offers risk management and insurance solutions that meet the unique and complex needs of high-net worth clients. We understand their passion and are committed to preserving the life that they built. Additional information about Private Client Select Insurance Services can be found at www.privateclientselect.com


Muys Snijders

Muys Snijders is the Head of Art Services at Private Client Select Insurance Services (formerly AIG’s Private Client Group) based in New York. She oversees all aspects of risk management for Private Client Select’s insurance portfolio of art, jewelry, cars, wine and collectibles. Working with a team of seasoned professionals, she provides collections related loss prevention and collection...

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ArtCollect: An Expert's Guide to Art Collecting

Charlie Manzo, Alaina Simone, Muys Snijders, Kyle McGrath, Caren Petersen, Jason Rulnick, Elysian McNiff Koglmeier, Bianca Cutait, Linda Mariano, Jack Mur